For the first time, visitor spending in regional NSW has overtaken that in regional Queensland – despite the tourism mecca of the Gold Coast being included in Queensland’s tally.
NSW minister for tourism Adam Marshall said the latest National Visitor Survey showed regional Queensland could no longer “ride on the Gold Coast’s coat tails”.
In line with the state of origin clash this week, he pummelled the sunshine state saying: “Queensland should follow our lead.
“Rather than relying on the Gold Coast to inflate their numbers, they should focus on driving visitation west of the divide, into rural and regional areas.”
He also took aim at Victoria, saying fewer Australians were choosing to visit the state, resulting in a decline in both domestic visitors and overnight stays.
“The NSW government has invested record funding to grow the visitor economy and rural and regional areas and the numbers speak for themselves,” said the minister.
“Rural and regional NSW has exceeded that of regional Queensland by $88 million and we’ve achieved double-digit growth into rural and regional NSW – growing at 11 per cent.”
Mr Marshall said more than 32 million Australians chose to visit NSW (up almost 10 per cent), staying 101 million nights (up five per cent) and spending more than $19 billion (up almost 15 per cent).
“NSW leads Australia in terms of visitors, nights and expenditure,” he said.
“NSW’s domestic overnight expenditure growth was almost triple Queensland’s and nearly double Victoria’s, once again proving that we are number one on the ladder.
“This Government is not resting on our laurels and has been working with industry to develop the next visitor economy industry action plan looking towards 2030.
“We will continue to turbocharge NSW’s local economies, generate jobs and drive investment in local communities through this booming industry.”